June 14, 2015

Latest Economic News From The U.S. & Canada

  • Industrial capacity in Canada fell to 82.7 percent in the first quarter of 2015, from 83.5 from the last quarter of 2014. Analysts said the reading was “dragged down” by “weaker manufacturing.” The drop was the most significant since the second quarter of 2009.
  • Orders for new metal cutting and metal forming equipment by U.S. manufacturers fell 8.1 percent to $384.81 million in April.
  • Based on weak growth in the first quarter, the MAPI Foundation reduced its 2015 estimate for U.S. manufacturing production growth to 2.5 percent from 3.7 percent.
  • According to a National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) quarterly survey, only 76.3 percent of manufacturers feel positively about the growth outlook for their company. That figure was down from 88.5 percent March and the lowest since the third quarter of 2013.
  • The National Federation of Independent Business’s Small Business Optimism Index increased to 98.3 in May, from 96.9 in April, to its highest level since December. Despite the improvement, NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg said, “The NFIB May survey results confirm that the economy is moving ahead, but at an uninspiring pace.”
  • The number of Americans who filed for federal unemployment benefits for the first time increased to 279,000 for the week that ended June 6 from 277,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims also increased slightly, as did the number of people who continued to file for benefits. That figure rose to 2.265 million for the week that ended May 30 from 2.204 million the week before. Meanwhile, the Labor Department also announced last week that there were 5.4 million jobs open in the U.S. at the end of April.
  • In other economic news: U.S. import prices rose 1.3 percent in May while the producer price index increased 0.5 percent.